Early Intervention (EI) Program - Fact Sheet

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What is Early Intervention (EI)?

  • A federal, state and local collaboration that grew out of federal legislation (Public Law 99-457: Public Law 101-476) servicing the family and their child under age three who has documented or suspected developmental delays, or disabilities. 

Local Lead Agency:                                                  

  • Erie County Department of Public Health

Mandated Services:                    

  • Developmental monitoring for families of children at risk
  • Child Find                  
  • Multidisciplinary Evaluation          
  • Public Awareness
  • Monitoring Service Delivery        
  • Individualized Family Service Plan         
  • Service Coordination                                     

Target Population:

  • All children birth through two who:
  • Have a confirmed developmental delay
  • Have a medical or physical diagnosis with a high probability of developmental delay
  • Have been screened and found to need further evaluation
  • Are suspected of or at high risk for developmental delays in one or more of the following domains:   
    • Cognitive
    • Communication
    • Gross/fine motor
    • Social/emotional
    • Adaptive (self help).

Voluntary Entitlement:  

  • Parents must agree to participate; the service is to assist them with enhancing their child’s development.

Role of Service Coordinator:

  • Providing information, advocacy                    
  • Facilitating evaluation, linking with resources
  • Coordinating across agency lines                   
  • Helping parent develop an IFSP                                
  • Monitoring delivery of services and due process      

Sources of Referrals:

  • Primary medical provider       
  • Community based programs/agencies  
  • Parent/Relatives    
  • NICU, Hospital Outpatient Clinics   
  • Human Services   
  • Local School Districts  
  • Other

When to Refer:

  • When a child has a definite delay or diagnosed condition with a high probability of delay; referral should be made within two working days                 
  • If delay is questionable or other circumstances are present, the referral may involve judgement as to the best time to refer. Feel free to contact EI to discuss (716) 858-6374.).
  • When primary medical provider feels that parent will benefit from further information, support, and guidance in seeking evaluation/services for a child

How to Refer: 

  • Contact the Early Intervention Program at (716) 858-6374.

Process after referral:

  • Service Coordinator makes initial visit to explain program and get signed consents
  • Evaluation or screening takes place to determine eligibility (delay must be 33% in one or 25% in two developmental domains, or if the child’s communication is the only concern, then 2 standard deviations below the mean or other criteria as indicated in the NYS Regulations).
  • Service Plan is prepared and services begin for those families of children who are found eligible; developmental monitoring is offered to families of ineligible children or families with children at risk.
  • Ongoing Service Coordinator monitors service delivery, plans reviews and assists with transition of the child out of EI into either continued special needs services or community program.

Frequently Requested



Phone: (716) 858-7690

Fax: (716) 858-8701

Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH)
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo, New York 14202

ECDOH Locations